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Dicks v. Ottey

United States District Court, D. Maryland

November 30, 2016

ANDREW JOSEPH DICKS, Plaintiff,
v.
COLIN OTTEY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          A. David Copperthite United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before this Court is Defendants' Colin Ottey. Kristi Cortez, Greg Flury, Dawn Hawk, James Hunt. Ava Joubert. Quinta Lum. Jennifer Bradfield. Kimberly Hienbaugh. Michelle Schultz. Krista Swan. Lisa Shell, (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Individual Defendants") and Wexford Health Sources. Inc. (hereinafter referred to as "Wexford") Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and/or Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defendants' Motion") (ECF No. 102). Also pending before this Court is Plaintiff Andrew J. Dicks's Motion for Other Relief pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) (ECF No. 104). After considering the Motions, and responses thereto (ECF Nos. 102, 103, 104, 105), the Court Finds that no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). In addition, the Court will DENY Plaintiffs Motion for Other Relief with respect to delaying consideration of the Motion for Summary Judgment, pursuant to Rule 56(d) (ECF No. 104) and. for the reasons that follow. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and/or Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 102) is GRANTED in part, and DENIED in part.

         Background

         On May 1, 2014 Andrew Joseph Dicks ("Plaintiff") initiated an action in this court claiming violations of Plaintiffs Eight Amendment rights and various state laws for tortious conduct and deliberate indifference related to Plaintiffs various medical needs. On July 1. 2016. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint and on July 25, 2016. the Court granted Plaintiffs request. Thereafter, on July 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint ("the Complaint*') alleging: (1) Deliberate Indifference against Individual Defendants; (2) Deliberate Indifference against Wexford; (3) Medical Negligence against Individual Defendants; (4) Medical Negligence against Wexford; and (5) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress against both Individual Defendants and Wexford.[1] With regard to those claims, Plaintiff alleged that on numerous occasions between June 2012 and March 2014, Individual Defendants (I) refused to properly and completely examine Plaintiffs skin condition (skin lesions that had spread to various areas of his body); (2) misdiagnosed Plaintiff; (3) provided inadequate and/or ineffective treatment for Plaintiffs skin condition; and (4) refused to refer Plaintiff to an outside medical provider after discovering that they were ill-equipped to treat Plaintiffs skin condition.

         On August 19, 2016, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss [Plaintiffs Complaint] for Failure to State a Claim and/or Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defendants' Motion") (ECF No. 102). On September 19. 2016, Plaintiff filed both a Response Motion in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 103) and a Motion for Other Relief pursuant to Rule 56(d) (ECF No. 104). On October 6, 2016. Defendants filed a Reply to Plaintiffs Opposition (ECF No. 105). This matter is now fully briefed and the Court has reviewed Defendants' Motions as well as Plaintiffs Responses.

         Defendants' Arguments Raised

         Defendants contends: (1) that the record does not support Plaintiffs claims of deliberate indifference (Counts I and II); (2) that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against Wexford for deliberate indifference (Count II); and (3) that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count V). Defendants further argue that the Court should refuse to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs state law claims (Counts III, IV. and V).

         Standard of Review

         A. Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss

         Defendants have moved to dismiss or. in the alternative, for summary judgment. "The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion [to dismiss] is to test the sufficiency of a complaint." McBurney v. Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393, 408 (4th Cir. 2010) (internal citation omitted). When ruling on a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). a court is required to "accept the well-pled allegations of the complaint as true" and "construe the facts and reasonable inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 474. 474 (4th Cir. 1997); Nemet Chevrolet. Ltd v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc.. 591 F.3d 250, 255 (4th Cir. 2009) ("in evaluating a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court accepts all well-pled facts as true and construes these facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff in weighing the legal sufficiency of the complaint.") To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must set forth "a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Tuomblv. 550 U.S. at 556).

         Ordinarily, a court cannot consider matters outside the pleadings or resolve fact disputes when ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Bosiger v. U.S. Airways, 510 F.3d 442. 450 (4th Cir. 2007). However, if the court does consider matters outside the pleadings, "the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56." and "[a]ll parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to the motion." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d); see also Finley Lines Joint Protective Bd. Unit 200 v. Norfolk S. Corp., 109 F.3d 993, 997 (4th Cir. 1997). ("[A] Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss supported by extraneous materials cannot be regarded as one for summary judgment until the district court acts to convert the motion by indicating that it will not exclude from its consideration of the motion the supporting extraneous materials.").

         "There are two requirements for a proper Rule 12(d) conversion." Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 721 F.3d 264. 281 (4th Cir. 2013). First, all parties must "be given some indication by the court that it is treating the 12(b)(6) motion as a motion for summary judgment, " which can be satisfied when a party is "aware that material outside the pleadings is before the court." Gay v. Wall, 761 F.2d 175. 177 (4th Cir. 1985); see also Laughlin v. Metro. Washington Airports Auth., 149 F.3d 253, 261 (4th Cir. 1998) (commenting that a court has no obligation "to notify parties of the obvious"). "[T]he second requirement for proper conversion of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is that the parties first 'be afforded a reasonable opportunity for discovery.' " Greater Baltimore, 721 F.3d at 281 (quoting Gay, 761 F.2datl77).

         Both requirements are satisfied here. First, Plaintiff was made aware that material outside the pleadings was before the court because Defendants' motion included numerous exhibits, including Plaintiffs medical records. Second. Plaintiff was afforded a reasonable opportunity for discovery, a fact made more evident by the Court's second amended scheduling order, proposed and stipulated to by the parties, extending discovery beyond the original June 15, 2016 deadline. ECF No. 82 (docketed June 13, 2016). Accordingly. Defendants" Motion shall be treated as a motion for summary judgment, and the court will consider the materials outside of the pleadings.

         B. Rule 56 Motion for Summary Judgment

         Pursuant to Rule 56. a movant is entitled to summary judgment where the pleadings. depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any. show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The Supreme Court has clarified that not every factual dispute will defeat a motion for summary judgment but rather, there must be a genuine issue of material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby. Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-248 (1986) ("the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact."'). An issue of fact is material if, under the substantive law of the case, resolution of the factual dispute could affect the outcome. Id. at 248. There is a genuine issue as to material fact "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id: see Dulaney v. Packaging Corp. of Am.,673 F.3d 323, 330 ...


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